Containment is back, and with it the teleworking that the government wants to see generalized wherever possible. The problem is, working from home is not without risk. When we are at home, we necessarily feel safe. Yet it is a potentially hostile environment, where the protective devices provided by the employer no longer work. We must therefore be vigilant and apply, here too, some digital hygiene rules.
Block your network access
Most teleworkers use their Wi-Fi network to access the Internet and thus their company resources. To prevent a third party from connecting to it and being able to intercept the connections, it is a good idea to change the wireless network password and to create a good one. This also applies if you access the Internet through 4G tethering on your smartphone, as you are then using a Wi-Fi network created for the occasion by the terminal. You can also activate MAC filtering if your box offers this option. This allows you to allow access to the wireless network only to certain well-defined devices.
If you have a service Personal VPN, use it, it will always make an extra layer of security. But you don’t need to buy one: at home, the risk is significantly lower than at public hotspots. If you need to use a professional VPN to access your business resources, that doesn’t arise.
Separate the professional and personal sphere
Not everyone who telecommutes today uses company-supplied equipment, but has to fall back on equipment at home. It is best then to create an account on this computer dedicated to professional activity, as this allows professional and personal activities to be properly separated. This is all the more necessary if this machine is used by other people in the household, for whom it is also necessary to create user accounts. Make sure that all of these user accounts do not have administrator privileges. A handling error happened so quickly …
Install an antivirus
Using security software clearly helps protect your work. If your computer is running Windows 10, you don’t have to do anything. The integrated security suite is of a sufficient standard, although you can opt for a more complete suite. For versions prior to Windows 10 and for macOS, however, it is strongly recommended to install an antivirus. Yes, you read that right: even Macs need to be protected these days! There are now enough Apple hardware users to interest pirates. Below are the latest results of antivirus tests performed by the AV-Test laboratory.
Back up your data every day
It is imperative to back up your professional data every day, to avoid losing them following a failure or being trapped by a ransomware. You can use for this an external medium if possible encrypted (USB key, Hard disk) or the cloud. But you have to avoid these storage spaces being permanently connected with your computer. Ransomware then has the ability to encrypt backups as well, negating their benefit. The easiest way is to use the backup functions built into the system, namely “Backup” for Windows 10 and “Time Machine” on macOS. Usually, hard drive manufacturers also offer solutions. It’s up to you to choose what suits you best.
Keep your distance
Just because you’re at home, with your wife, kids, or parents, doesn’t mean you need to let your guard down. If you handle sensitive or even confidential data, there is no reason for it to be visible to a third party. If necessary, use a screen filter. Also remember to lock your session if you are no longer near your computer, such as in the office. Finally, if you are participating in video conferences, use a headset and try to isolate yourself. Walls have ears, and neighbors don’t necessarily need to know the details of your working life.
Beware of phishing and scams
This pandemic creates very specific working conditions which offer many opportunities to hackers. You have to be extra vigilant with every email you open and every message you receive. We all want to know the latest information about the coronavirus. Cybermalfrats know this very well and they adapt accordingly their phishing campaigns. They can also try to impersonate a colleague who asks for a helping hand or technical support who wants to give it. Do not hesitate to verify the authenticity of the interlocutors by making a phone call. In addition, it gives a little more life to the daily exchanges during this period of confinement.